- Reporters Desk
Goodwill Does Good by Keeping Electronic Waste Out of Landfills
Goodwill, Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County (Goodwill SOLAC) announced its 2014 Earth Day awareness campaign aimed at local businesses and residents with electronic waste items that are in need of safe, certified disposal. Goodwill does good for the environment by reducing e-waste in landfills and ultimately improving the quality of life for the communities it serves. Surrounding Earth Day, Goodwill reaches out to both large and small businesses to increase e-waste awareness and encourage them to enlist Goodwill as their go-to source for e-waste recycling.
“We are proud of our leadership in sustainability practices to help facilitate corporate citizenship and environmental responsibility,” said Julie Dover, Chief Operating Officer for Goodwill SOLAC.
In recognition of Earth Day, Goodwill SOLAC’s emphasis on e-waste recycling places its long history of green stewardship front and center, underscoring its founding principle: A commitment to transforming lives through the power of work. In just the last year, Goodwill processed an impressive 14.5 million pounds of textiles and household goods for sale. In addition, more than 805,000 pounds of e-waste was recycled, generating in excess of $1.4 million that was used to fund its job training and employment programs for underserved individuals who have a desire to work, offering them a hand up rather than a hand out.
Goodwill SOLAC partners with local businesses, such as Toyota and Kaiser Permanente, to collect e-waste items through employee donation drives. Not only does Goodwill provide on-site bins for corporate donation drives, it also deploys an expert team to collect the donations and issue tax-deductible receipts.
“We are grateful that Goodwill offers this service to businesses, as these items often remain stacked up in a corner or take up valuable storage space,” said Barbara Carnes, M.D., Area Medical Director for Kaiser Permanente’s South Bay Medical Center. “We are pleased that Kaiser Permanente has an ongoing program to recycle these items—almost 5,500 pounds of e-waste donations since 2011.”
Businesses and residents alike are typically unaware that it is illegal to dispose e-waste items in regular bins and that there are options for e-waste disposals. Last year, one small business sponsored a donation drive at its Long Beach building and generated nearly one ton of e-waste in four hours. “When small businesses come together like that, it’s extremely exciting what can be accomplished,” said Dover.
When donating e-waste items to Goodwill, donors are assured that the organization is a certified collector of e-waste products through the State of California, meaning it’s responsibly disposing electronic waste through certified recyclers. Most importantly, Goodwill is a 501c3 nonprofit that sets aside 88 cents of every dollar made to support its job training and placement programs. The more Goodwill earns for its services, like e-waste recycling, the more good the organization can do for the local community.
“People who want to responsibly recycle are often confused because there are for-profit entities that also accept these items, but their missions are very different,” said Dover. “Rather than focusing on revenues, our focus is on the community by supporting our job training and employment components. If you want to do good twice, Goodwill allows you to be green and do good.”
Goodwill has long been a leader in sustainability in addition to helping solve the problem of e-waste items that need to be responsibly recycled. E-waste is defined as environmentally sensitive materials that contain hazardous elements harmful to the environment. Acceptable e-waste donation items include televisions and computer equipment. Goodwill is unable to accept microwaves, printers and scanners for e-waste recycling. Businesses, organizations or schools can schedule a pick-up for 10 items or more. Smaller quantities can be dropped off at any of the 14 Goodwill retail stores or six attended donation centers, so complying with the law is easy. Call or visit www.thinkgood.org to find the Goodwill Donation Center nearest you.
About Goodwill, Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County
Goodwill SOLAC serves the people of Southern Los Angeles County as a community resource providing job training and placement as well as other services for individuals who lack education or job experience, have disabilities or face employment challenges.
Details: (562) 435-7741; www.thinkgood.org.